Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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France’s BEA unhappy with final Ethiopian Airlines MAX crash report

The French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA), brought in to assist Ethiopian authorities in 2019, is the latest to add additional comments to the investigation’s final report. The BEA has asked Ethiopian authorities to revise the report on the 2019 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8, claiming that concerns raised in the final draft were not included.

Last week, the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a supplementary statement of its own after its recommendations to Ethiopia’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (EAIB) were not included in the final accident report on December 27th. The NTSB agrees with the probable cause of the incident but believes the investigation does not thoroughly elaborate on several factors, including a potential bird strike and crew actions, that could impact future aviation safety.

The BEA has now issued a statement following the exclusion of its comments in the EAIB report as well. The concerns raised by the French aviation authority regarding the analysis of the crew’s performance and its contribution to the accident scenario did not result in satisfactory amendments to the final report.

(Simple Flying)

Ethiopian says he’s “taller” than Ghanaian man reported to be tallest man in the world

Negewo Jima, an Ethiopian, recently took to social media to claim he’s actually “taller” than a Ghanaian who was reported to be the tallest man in the world. Jima’s claim comes after the BBC published an article about a local hospital in Ghana suggesting Sulemana Abdul Samed’s height was 9 ft. 6 in. (2.89 meters).

Samed would have been declared the tallest man in the world if the local hospital had been sure of his height. The hospital is not certain because it lacks the correct measuring tools, the BBC said. And in a bid to challenge his height measurement, Jima took to Facebook to share a photo collage of himself and Samed, writing, “Never give up.”

“Bring him if you want—this guy will not be longer than me,” Jima also shared in an initial post. In an interview with the BBC, Jima also said that from what he can see in the photos, he can say Samed is not “taller” than him.

Jima, whose height is 7 ft. 4.6 in. (225 cm), is said to be the tallest man in Ethiopia. In an effort to confirm Samed’s height declaration, the BBC reporter measured him. The result was 7 ft. 4 in., meaning Jima is taller than him.

(Face2Face Africa)

French and German diplomatic chiefs to visit Ethiopia next week

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna announced Thursday that she would travel to Ethiopia next week with her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock “to consolidate peace”, after the agreement signed on November 2 between the government and Tigrayan rebels.

“I will be going next week with my colleague and friend Annalena Baerbock to Africa, to Ethiopia,” Colonna told LCI television. “We will travel together to consolidate the peace agreement that has finally been reached” to end the war that ravaged northern Ethiopia for two years “and to support the action of the African Union,” she added.

The peace agreement provides in particular for the disarmament of rebel forces, the restoration of federal authority in Tigray and the reopening of access and communications to this isolated region since mid-2021. A diplomatic source told AFP that the visit of the two heads of diplomacy would take place on January 12 and 13.

They will also discuss food security as well as relations between Ethiopia and the European Union, as well as relations between the EU and the African Union, according to the same source.


Ethiopia releases atlas to map livestock diseases caused by the tsetse fly

Ethiopia has released the first edition of an atlas to map a parasitic disease that affects livestock in the country and the vector behind it.

Through this initiative, the country’s National Institute for Control and Eradication of Tsetse and Trypanosomosis (NICETT) aims to establish a reference for the distribution of tsetse flies and African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) in western Ethiopia.

The disease is a huge problem for African livestock farmers. There is no vaccine, and existing drugs are becoming less effective because of the development of resistance in parasites.

The European Commission has also financed a four-year research and innovation project, “Controlling and Progressively Minimizing the Burden of Animal Trypanosomosis in Africa.”

The project spans from August 2021 to August 2025 and houses African countries, including South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Senegal, Sudan, Chad, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

(Down To Earth)

Trading in Kenya Airways shares suspended for yet another year

Trading in Kenya Airways shares has been suspended for another year, the local stock exchange says, as the troubled national carrier battles to return to profitability.

The airline’s shares have been suspended since July 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which devastated global air travel.

“The extension of suspension seeks to enable the company [to] complete its operational and corporate restructure process,” the Nairobi Securities Exchange said in a statement on Wednesday.

Last month, Kenyan President William Ruto said the government was ready to sell its entire stake in the airline, which has been deep in debt for years. The government owns a 48.9 percent stake in Kenya Airways, while Air France-KLM has 7.8 percent. The rest is owned by private owners and banks.

“I’m willing to sell the whole of Kenya Airways,” Ruto told Bloomberg News during his first visit to the United States as Kenya’s president.

“I’m not in the business of running an airline that just has a Kenyan flag—that’s not my business,” said Ruto, who reportedly met executives from US carrier Delta Air Lines during the trip.


Kampala-Malaba railway upgrade set to be completed next month

The rehabilitation of the USD 301 million Kampala-Malaba meter-gauge railway line is nearing completion, with 95 percent of the work done, the contractor, Chinese Railway and Bridge Cooperation (CRBC), has said.

The phased rehabilitation of the line started in February with funding from the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and is due to be completed next month.

The first phase included engineering design for the Kampala multimodal hub and refurbishment of the Kampala-Namanve and Tororo-Malaba sections, totaling 28 kilometres. The second phase covered the Environmental Study and Impact Assessment (ESIA), the purchase of workshop equipment and rolling stock, including wagons and locomotives, as well as the rehabilitation of the Namanve-Tororo, Port Bell, Jinja Pier, and Kampala-Kyengera sections, totaling 245 km.

The railway, which is part of the Northern Corridor of the East African Community and links Kampala to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya, is expected to bolster rail services and lower transportation costs.

(The East African)

Kenya’s public debt growth pace slowest in four years

Kenya’s public debt grew at the slowest pace in four years in the 12 months to September 2022, pointing to a declining borrowing appetite by the government amid growing concerns that the country is headed to a debt crisis.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows that Kenya’s debt grew by Sh762.7 billion in the year to September 2022 to stand at Sh8.7 trillion as the country races towards the Sh10 trillion borrowing cap set by Parliament last June.

The debt stock represents 62.3 percent of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP), with the domestic stock standing at Sh4.38 trillion, while external debt amounted to Sh4.35 trillion.

The public debt surged by Sh879.7 billion in the year to September 2021 and by Sh1.16 trillion in the corresponding period a year earlier.

In the period between September 2018 and September 2019, the country’s debt rose by Sh817.2 billion.

The decline in growth has been partly attributed to aggressive interest rate hikes by major central banks in the developed world as advanced economies battled to tame soaring inflation.

(Business Daily)

Sudan records highest gold production in 2022

The Sudanese Mineral Resources Company announced the production of more than 18 tons of gold in 2022. The company said that it was the most productive mineral sector in the history of Sudan.

The Director of the General Administration for Supervision and Control of Production Companies, Alaeldin Ali (Eng.), said in a press statement on Monday (Jan. 02) that productivity increased by one ton and 611 kilograms, compared to the highest production in the last period, which was achieved in 2019.

The 18 tons and 637 kilograms of gold produced in 2022 originated from the production of the organized sector of concession companies and companies dealing with traditional mining waste.

It is estimated that over 50 percent of Sudan’s gold is smuggled out of the country, with proceeds frequently used to finance the internal conflict.

The Central Bank of Sudan issued a new circular to banks and related authorities in March 2022, banning the export of gold by government agencies and foreigners, individuals, and companies, excluding concession companies operating in mining.

The circular also limited the role of the Central Bank of Sudan to purchasing gold for the sole purpose of building reserves.


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